Engaging your customers with Social Media. Part 1: How to choose the right social networks for your coffee business

For the next couple weeks, I want to cover a topic, that all of you are dealing within your coffee businesses a lot sooner or later: Social Media or the Social Networks and how to use them for your cafe, coffee shop, for your roasting or even your coffee consulting business.

It’s a series containing 3 articles in total. I want to show you what social networks to use and why, how to be more visible for potential customers with creating the right content and a short guide how to effectively use Facebook and Instagram for your coffee business.

The first article asks a really important question:

Have you chosen the right social networks for your coffee business, yet?

 How to find the right target group for the Social Media channels of your coffee business

Let’s be honest for a moment, did you set up a Facebook page and an Instagram or Twitter account for your coffee shop because every other coffee shop you know of, has one of these, too?

Are you one of these coffee businesses that believe, everyone has to have an account/a page? Because, it’s just how it works in that business? Because everyone is telling you, you need to be seen online as well? To get attention from potential customers on social networks as well?

Right, it is all about being seen & recognized, not just when passing by your brick & mortar business, but also online. This is true and absolutely crucial, when wanting to become known by those coffee fans out there.

But, do you know, if your online coffee community is actually using these social networks you set up an account for and if they’re interested in your social media exploits?

One more question for you:

Are the people in your online coffee community the same as the people coming to your coffee shop every week and vice versa?

Step into the shoes of your customer for a moment and think about scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook or the photos/images on Instagram.

What catches your attention? When do you actually read posts or even engage with posts? I’m not talking about liking posts, but actually commenting and/or sharing them.

We’re all busy at some point, so is your online community. Your page is only one of hundreds out there, taken into account, that every new coffee shop is setting up a page as soon as they open their shops (or even before opening)...

Having a page or an account only because you can say ‘Mission accomplished, I’m now on there as well,’ is not the right approach here. Trust me!

The worst thing would be, wanting to be in all (!) of these social networks... Ugh!

Remember, it’s not just done by setting up accounts and posting some photos or videos once in awhile! Someone actually has to take care of each one of these networks and posting photos, videos or other relevant content frequently which is time consuming, when done right and keeps your staff, or even worse, it is keeping YOU, from doing other, more important things, especially when you’re new to the coffee business industry.

-> Let me tell you about 3 steps to find out, what social network to use and why to use them:

Find your WHY

If you know me a little by now, I’m talking a lot about the WHY behind your coffee business.

For a good reason: You’re more focussed and clear about what you want to achieve with your coffee business. This is true for social media as well.

So, why do you want to build a community on Facebook? Why exactly do you want to be visible on the photo and video focussed platform Instagram?

Find out about the WHY behind setting up a Facebook page, an Instagram or Twitter account. The goal behind an account on these social networks has to be crystal clear! And, it has to match your coffee brand and your philosophy.

So, make sure you know what your coffee business stands for before thinking about your online and social media activities.

Find your goals

What are you trying to achieve with setting up an account/a page?

Can’t think of something right away? Well, think about your products, your coffee beans or merchandising maybe, which network would be best to make people aware of these?

You want more feedback from your online coffee community about your coffee blog, you just launched? You’re new to the local coffee market in your city and want to raise awareness for your shop? You want to get reviews for your coffee shop?

For starting with your activity on social media, start with only one goal and focus on that.

Find your online coffee community

As mentioned in the introduction, who is your online coffee community? Does it match the customers of your coffee shop?

It’s great having hundreds of online fans knowing about you and what you’re all about. But, if these people don’t find the way into your cafe or coffee shop and buy your coffee, the number of your fans or followers in your online coffee community doesn’t really matter anymore.

So, who do you want to ‘talk to’ with your activities on the social networks you’re in? Who is your ideal customer for each one of these channels?

When finding the right channel and creating content for your online coffee community, have your ideal customer in mind all the time. Again, the best strategy is to focus on only one of these ideal customers in the beginning.

So, before setting up an account on Instagram or creating a Facebook page, sit down with your staff or your business partners and think about, why you actually want to be on one of these platforms, what you’re trying to achieve with being present and what kind of people you want to reach with your content.

What Social networks do you use and why? Let me know in the comments below!